The overreaction, when one’s thinking is based solely on rejecting human error, instead of Scripture, is evident all around us. To be “anti” something, in purely human, fleshly thinking, also leads to an error. The complete opposite of an error is not the truth.
While not to this extreme, there have been negative sentiments expressed in the LCMS directed at its German heritage. But one group does not have to be excluded to include another. The Gospel of Christ forgives all who are repentant and does not play demographic favorites. The ELCA study guide reads: “With 96% of our membership Caucasian, we remain the least integrated of the nation’s major Christian denominations.” All the liberalism and human efforts of justice in the ELCA have failed. Instead, we should trust that God will work through the Gospel on all peoples and not be afraid to speak it to sinners.
“Unearned privilege runs deep, and white people can’t escape it,” the ELCA study guide says. Isn’t the Gospel about unearned privilege–grace given freely on account of Christ’s works? We do not have to feel sorry for divine or human gifts. Life itself is an unearned gift. But we should be thankful. The reaction to gifts should not be to downgrade, de-previlege oneself, or feel guilty, but to love others from your favorable position, in the role and with the gifts Christ has blessed. Instead of expecting and demanding rights and privileges, we should be thankful and grateful for all God’s undeserved merit and favor. Sin admits no cultural or racial excuses. No one deserves God’s benefits. The Gospel is unfair, to our benefit.
The Small Catechism destroys this pagan thinking of “privilege”: “He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.”
Social justice thinking is quite dangerous, because it is easily becomes a pattern of thought more accepted than God’s own teaching. The Word of God always produces divine results—don’t trust the numbers, trust the Word! –ed.